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American Gothic - Jack-in-the-Pulpit - Advance Preview + Teasers

This week’s episode is named after Georgia O'Keeffe’s set of paintings depicting the jack-in-the-pulpit flower, of which you will see many, as they adorn the church pews at Mitchell’s funeral. Through these works of art, O’Keeffe used abstract forms and ideas as a metaphor for knowledge, meaning that the closer you get to the subject, the more profound and revealing your knowledge of it will become. This motif is played upon throughout the episode, particularly during the closing moments when one character discovers a startling clue hiding in plain sight.

If that sounds a bit too arty-farty, nonsense, then the title also has a rather more direct meaning this week too. The Hawthorne family should be pulling together during this time of grief, but with so many secrets to hide from each other it’s making it a little difficult for some of them. As Cam says in his NA meeting after falling off the wagon, “There’s been some tough stuff, with my family.” As we saw last week, discovering his son mutilating the neighbour’s cat in the basement pushed him into making a fateful step towards his estranged wife, Sophie. This will ultimately lead them into acting very inappropriately at the funeral, leaving an unattended Jack to make his way to the pulpit in order to deliver his own, rather disturbing, eulogy to the stunned crowd.

Brady is finding that he has to prove himself as a brand new detective that has been put on this high profile case - having a sister-in-law as city councillor makes for all kinds of whispers in the office it seems. He’s confident and thorough in his work, however, which only exasperates some who want to see him fail. Consequently, he’s given a task that will mean he has to sneak around his own wife and her family, without revealing what it is he is up to. Little does he know that she, and indeed they, are doing exactly the same, hiding what little they suspect of the case from him too. Things are certainly becoming complicated fast in the Hawthorne household!

As for whom I think could be the killer, I’m really not sure where to place my chips so far. Madeline seems the obvious choice after she bumped off her husband at the end of last week, but is it a red herring or boldly placed there at the start to make us feel as though it’s too obvious? She spends a great deal of time and effort this week attempting to cover up her crime, whilst maybe acting as though she thinks that Mitchell was the guilty party after all. Having the murderer die in the opening episode would be a pretty lame twist in my book, so I don’t think that is the way they have gone. Nonetheless, Madeline’s tricksy lies and dubious behaviour are enough to keep her on my list for now though.

A large part of young Jack’s behaviour is to show us that even though the siblings were only around his age in 1999, they could have been capable of horrendous deeds, especially if they didn’t act alone. Of them, Garrett is the one that sticks out the most. He is the oldest, disappeared when the killing stopped and has stated several times that he’s harbouring some big secret. But, I’m not sure if what he knows is linked directly to knowledge of the murderer, per se. Could it be about some murky deal that Mitchell made – possibly with some, or all, of the victims – which made Garrett disown his father. Or is it not even related to the Silver Bells Killer case at all?

Of the other three, the only one I think I can more or less definitely count out for now is Tess due to her insistence of getting to the bottom of the riddle. Cam climbs a notch or two up the list due to a slew of curious evidence that comes to light this week, although I am in two minds over the significance of said clues as there are bound to be some curve balls thrown at us along the way. Alison, on the other hand, has been determined to keep the story buried from the start, stating that her career is the important factor. Could there be other reasons at play too, though, apart from exposing a possible budding romance with Naomi, her campaign manager, of course.

How about you, who is on your suspect list so far, and why? Sound off in the comments below!

Jack-in-the-Pulpit airs on June 29 at 10:00pm ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. Below are a few dialogue teasers to see you through until then. Don't forget to come back to vote in our poll after you have seen the episode and let us know what you thought.

“So where’s his body? Grandpa’s, I mean. Because based on a post-mortem time line I looked up rigor mortis has defiantly set in by now”

“Your tags expired, about twelve years ago. Your ID too. Alright, step out of the car please sir”

“About a week ago, I found him out in the shed. He was disoriented, he called me Mary, his sister’s name”

“When I lost my dad, I got messed up. I numbed the pain, it feels like an escape. But trust me, the pain will always find you”

“No-one wants to think their child is troubled, but you went to therapy when you were younger”

“There were some irregularities in the machine tracking his vitals. It’s important we discuss this in person, and as soon as possible”

“If you’d gone to the hospital. Like you said, Mum wouldn’t have been alone when….”

“I suspect an incident of animal mutilation. Perhaps someone in your family, saw something”

“That story needs to be your eloquent, heart-felt eulogy, not whatever that loose cannon, lumberjack dreams up”

“What do you want me to do? You want me to open up the casket, pull a hair off the corpse?”

The Hawthorne’s odd job man, Gunther, may be one to keep a firm eye on!

About the Author - Sandi
Sandi is part of the Senior Staff at SpoilerTV having been a contributor from back in the Lost days of DarkUFO, and who now writes previews for Banshee, The Musketeers, Poldark, and other UK shows. She also enjoys watching and commenting on other shows such as Vikings, Orphan Black, Game of Thrones and The Flash.
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